Ed Smiley's Reviews > Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight by Unknown
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's review
Jul 02, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: once-a-knight-is-enough
Read from June 25 to July 02, 2011

This is a rather magical tale.

The images are very intense, and incise themselves in one's mind. The translation into latter-day English leans a lot on alliteration, mirroring the method of the original maker. The original Middle English used such a technique of rhymed but alliterative verse, only ending in rhyme at the end of each part. For the most part the translation is quite effective, only once in a while sounding forced; the original, I suspect*, was more artless and direct. (I am quite the sucker for internal rhyme.)

(view spoiler)

*They reproduce about 3 pages of the original, which is in the Northern Middle English, rather than that of the more familiar London dialect of Chaucer, so I could see some of the original at work. I've read Chaucer, this was a little harder to figure out.

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